A Los Angeles Superior Court Judge will decide who will control Zsa Zsa Gabor’s estate finances and medical care decisions. Last week Ms. Gabor’s only daughter, Constance Francesca Gabor Hilton, filed a petition with the court to request a court controlled conservatorship of her mother’s estate. A conservator is someone appointed by the court to have either partial or full control of making any financial or medical care decisions on behalf of a minor child or adult.

Zsa Zsa Gabor is 95-years-old and reportedly in poor health. She is currently married to Prince Frederick von Anhalt who believes his wife’s daughter is not acting with honorable intentions and only wants to control her mother’s estate for financial reasons. Ms. Hilton wants the court to decide who is best capable of caring for her mother.

At issue seems to be a dispute surrounding the medical care that Ms. Gabor is receiving as well as the mortgage on her estate. According to sources Ms. Hilton claims she filed for the conservatorship after learning that the mortgage had not been paid on Ms. Gabor’s estate after Mr. Von Anhalt took out a $700,000 loan. Mr. von Anhalt confirms he took out the loan, but said he had to because Ms. Hilton refinanced the home last year for $1.6 million and kept the money. He is claiming last year’s refinanced mortgage now requires a $30,000 monthly payment and that he needed to take out the loan in order to pay the mortgage.

There is no mention of an estate plan in place for Ms. Gabor or if she has a documented powers of attorney, living will or trust. This story demonstrates the need for a comprehensive estate plan that includes medical directives as well as an appointed conservator or guardianship should a person become incapacitated and unable to communicate his or her wishes.

Regardless of the size or value of an estate, planning ahead for various events can eliminate much of the confusion and disagreements that can arise within families. Consulting with an estate planning attorney can be one of the best gifts you give your family to help ease the process of transition and avoid having the courts decide who should handle your affairs and make medical decisions on your behalf.

Source: ABC News, “Zsa Zsa Gabor’s Daughter Seeks Conservatorship,” Mar. 21, 2012

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